Post-graduation, members of the Corlears community part ways and head off for their summer vacations. Without official classes in session, you might think the pace of the school slows down, but those few weeks give way to even more programs and productivity. While west 15th street is slightly quieter in the summer time, the action certainly doesn’t stop. Between hosting a number of camps and planning for the coming school year, this past summer proved to be as busy a time as any.
Summer at Corlears is the start of camp season! Our camps kept the building filled with the energy that only students can bring. Between Discover Science for the younger campers, and Claymation and Coding for the older, the classrooms and hallways felt just as alive as they did during the school year. This summer, camp saw some new members of the Corlears community get their first introduction to the school. Some new faces of kindergarten jumped right into Discover Science. There, they explored a variety of science topics, connected with new friends and made quite a literal splash - taking swim lessons twice a week. Our older campers created their own film - Escape from Plantopia - and hosted a screening complete with freshly popped popcorn for an authentic cinematic experience. In addition to those taught by Corlears teachers, the building played host to a number of additional camp providers. Textile Arts Center, Curious Jane and ConstructionKids all made Corlears their home for the summer. Butter Beans, the providers of our newly launched lunch service, cooked up a storm with their campers; giving us a literal and figurative taste of the year to come. While campers came together in classrooms, other community members did so outside of the school building.
This past July, Corlears hosted its first "Gathering on the Grass” for Parents of Students of Color (POSOC). Even in the heat, the turnout for the event was fantastic and "showed how passionate people are about getting together in an affinity space," says Director of Admission, Linda K. Talton. The event gave children and their parents the opportunity to connect with one another, and with staff, outside of the school walls. New and current families alike took part in an afternoon of soccer, enjoyed lunch and ice pops in the shade and tossed around some unusually durable water balloons. Later, students took a break from the heat and played together in the sprinklers at the Tarr Family Playground. This event was just the beginning of what will be many more gatherings that celebrate diversity at Corlears in all its forms. Up next, the school will play host to the LGBTQ Downtown School Fair on September 22nd from 6-8pm.
Students may be out but the administrative team and faculty are in! The summer proved to be a productive time for the admin team as they planned for the coming school year. Welcoming a new Director of Development, Mallory King, the team came together and took part in a two day retreat focused on shaping the goals for the coming school year and beyond. After two days of reflection and discussion, the team emerged with newly formed objectives, fresh inspiration and an even stronger commitment to supporting Corlears’ families through their work as active community members. It seemed like no time had passed at all before the teachers were back in action and the start of the year was underway. Arriving in August, classroom teachers and specialists worked tirelessly to get their classrooms in top shape for the arrival of their students. Not only are the rooms visually stunning, but each space has a specific function and serves the needs of the students. The fruits of their labor are evident in the amazing spaces they've created for their classes, which will continue to grow and take shape as the year goes on and students begin to contribute. With a bit of time off, the faculty and staff returned refreshed, energized and ready for another successful school year.
The summer months serve an opportunity for Corlears community to not only grow bigger, but stronger. Students in camp continue to stretch and learn in new ways, exploring art, science and technology with familiar faces. New members of the community are welcomed into the fold, building relationships and preparing for a new school experience, while staff members reflect on the past school year and plan for success. Between camp sessions, social events and team building for our staff, Corlears' summer activity has proven to be simply an extension of the rich learning and thoughtful connections that students and families look forward to throughout the year. Now that the school year is in full swing, there are no signs of slowing down and the community is ready to take on the rewarding challenge of making each school year better than the last.